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Dynamite Dialogue

 

What makes dialogue good? What kind of lines do you remember–quote often?

Before you can make dialogue good and believable, you have to know your characters. What makes them tick? Do they have a phrase they say often? Are they serious? Sarcastic–if so what kind of sarcasm do they use? Humorous, mocking, snide? Are they whimsical? Aloof? Are they witty, shy, dry?

Once you know who your characters are, how they think, what drives them, motivates them, moves them, then you’re ready to make them talk!

Dialogue comes naturally for some, while for others it’s difficult. I’m one of those writers. It just flows smoothly, I don’t have to think about what my characters are going to say. They tell me. Loudly. But then, I have to think about the senses around me. I have to work at that.

Dialogue doesn’t always need a tag.
If your characters are bantering, you don’t have to put in a “she said, he said” every time. It will flow smoother, deliver the tone you’re going for and engage the reader. Here’s an example of bogged down dialogue tags:

Win a Kindle Fire and a Signed Copy of Final Verdict!

BUY NOW

Hey everyone! Welcome to my new website. I’m so in love with it and can’t thank Jason Walker at Website Ministries enough for his amazing design, patience, and nailing my vision. I highly recommend him if you’re in the market for a new website or even an upgrade.

Also, today not only marks my new online home, which I hope you’ll peruse, especially my BOOK CLUBS page which is full of bonus features and extras for all the books that have released, but today is RELEASE DAY for Final Verdict! And to celebrate…

I’m giving away a Kindle Fire and a signed paperback copy of Final Verdict to one winner. U.S. Only. 18+  This is no April Fool’s joke! The contest is open for the entire month of April! I’ll draw a winner and email them/announce it here May 1st!

You could win a kindle fire, a signed copy of Final Verdict and this bracelet (there’s a bracelet in the book and it’s important!)
 
Here is a closer look at the bracelet! The Love centerpiece fits easily into the bracelet. It’s a magnet and Beckett’s famous line to Aurora: “You and me. We’re magnets from here on out.” I love the symbolism and a big thanks to Gayle Adams, a Magnabilities Consultant and friend who donated this precious piece.
 
 

Final Verdict is about a sheriff and a defense attorney. Talk about opposites attracting. Tell me, if you had to choose to be a prosecuter or a defense attorney, which one would you choose and why? 

 

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Win a copy of Final Verdict & Unleashing Love Releases TODAY!

Guess what? I’m giving away 5 signed paperbacks of Final Verdict! All you have to do is enter the giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win 1! 

Woohoo!

In Other news, my novella Unleashing Love releases TODAY in the Love at First Laugh Collection! It’s only .99 for all 8 novellas! That’s a deal. Grab it up!

Have a great week, ya’ll! 

Join the Patch Pack!

***Update 2/21/2017 Thanks, everyone, the spots have now been filled. There was an overwhelming response (to which I’m grateful) and not everyone could squeeze in. However, know that the Patch Pack will open up again in the near future. Those who filled a slot have been notified personally by email and added to the private facebook group. Thanks again for your support!***


Hey ya’ll!

Guess what? My 4th Love Inspired Suspense novel, Final Verdict, is releasing in April and there are a few limited spaces in the Patch Pack for those of you who might be interested in joining up to help me spread the word!

By joining the Patch Pack, you’ll receive a FREE advanced digital copy of Final Verdict. Here’s  a peek at the book:

FATAL JUSTICE 
When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice, Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in town—and in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it’s his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancée from a dangerous felon, but he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs.

Sound like a book you’d like to read? Great! Let me share a few other perks of being in the Patch Pack. You’ll be added to a “secret” group on  Facebook. We have a lot of fun over there as we chat about books, life, and sometimes Patch Packers help me brainstorm ideas and help out with character names and the like…also…with each book they commit to promote, they’re entered into an exclusive giveaway full of fun prizes. This last book I gave away a kindle fire, signed paper back, cool coffee mug and coaster to boot!

 Basically, the Patch Pack team helps me spread the word about the book through their circle of influence such as social media sites, church friends and family, word of mouth, and of course, honest reviews!

Space is limited, so if you feel like this might be something you are interested in, please fill out the Google form: PATCH PACK GOOGLE FORM

Thanks again for considering teaming up with me!

Kiss or Miss? Featuring Melanie Snitker!

Thanks for playing. The contest is now closed and the winner has been notified. For those of you who guessed if Melanie’s excerpt below was a “kiss or miss” it was a MISS! I’m going to call it a miss!
 Parker really wants to kiss her and brushes a whisper of a kiss on her cheek, but he walks away when he wants to give her a true kiss. Instead, he lets her have the space she wanted – or at least she thinks she wants!

Welcome to the “Kiss or Miss” Scavenger Hunt.
I am so glad you’ve stopped by today to play along. Today is stop #6, but you can journey through all eight stops, following the order in the schedule. Each stop will include two or three clue words in red. Collect them all and enter to win our grand prize at the final stop on February 17th on Crystal’s site.

Along each stop, you’ll get to meet an awesome author friend, read a super fun excerpt from one of their favorite kiss-or-miss scenes, and enter some sweet giveaways.

Here Are the Deets:
Scavenger Hunt Schedule: February 13th through the 17th.

Once you have all the words, arrange them in order to complete the mystery quote and enter it at the final stop of the event on Crystal’s site, 2/17.

Grand Prize: A paperback from each participating author, as shown in the image below.

Ready to Dive in? Follow the blog hop order below:

Stop 1 – 2/13/17: Crystal’s blog, featuring Pepper Basham
Stop 2 – 2/13/17: Pepper’s blog, featuring Stacy Claflin
Stop 3 – 2/14/17: Stacy’s blog, featuring Juliette Duncan
Stop 4 – 2/14/17: Juliette’s blog, featuring Sarah Monzon
Stop 5 – 2/15/17: Sarah’s blog, featuring Jessica Patch
Stop 6 – 2/15/17: Jessica’s blog, featuring Melanie Snitker
Stop 7 – 2/16/17: Melanie’s blog, featuring Melissa Tagg
Stop 8 – 2/16/17: Melissa’s blog, featuring Crystal Walton
Stop 9 – 2/17/17: Crystal’s blog, final entry

Stop #6 Featuring Melanie Snitker Thanks so much, Melanie, for being here today. I’m stoked for everyone to read your Kiss or Miss scene!

Thank
you so much, Jessica, for hosting me on your blog today! I’m looking forward to
sharing more about my new release, Finding Joy.
Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is
really a new beginning.
A horrific
accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. The beautiful new employee his
mom hires is the last thing he needs and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the
girl quit. All he wants is to regain the peace and quiet he prefers.
Chelsea Blake
had been under the influence of her parents for ages,
but nothing short of desperation would force her to work on a local cattle
ranch. She may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed
is stronger than her handsome employer’s efforts at forcing her to leave.
Unprepared to
discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they
might find joy beyond measure.
 Finding Joy is available for $0.99 through February 19th.
Click here to snag your
copy!
For your chance to win a digital copy of Finding Peace, the first
book in this series, read the excerpt below. Then vote below to enter your choice of “kiss” or “miss” in the Rafflecopter form.
A winner
will be chosen randomly on February 18th, 2017.
Excerpt from Finding Joy:
Chelsea
nodded slowly. “That makes sense. It hurts when people don’t see us for who we
really are.”
There
was no doubting the sadness in her eyes. “Are things still not going well with
your parents?”
She
gave a half shrug. “I don’t know why it always surprises me. You’d think I’d be
used to it by now. You were right, though. My parents never knew me.” She took
a long drink. “I’ve always been their daughter and Laurie’s sister. Never
Chelsea. I’m not even sure I know who I really am.” 
“Well,
I do.” Parker reached across the table and cradled her hand in his. Not even
the hot drink had warmed her skin after being outside. He covered it with his
other hand. “You, Chelsea Blake, are a beautiful, intelligent woman. You never
give up, no matter how many obstacles get in your way. You were willing to fly
in the face of what your parents expected of you in order to find your own
direction in this world.” She was blushing furiously now, but he wasn’t done.
“And you were able to single-handedly drag a grumpy man out of his misery with
a broken bottle of tea and your stubbornness.”
Chelsea
laughed then and covered her face with her hands. Her eyes brimmed with tears
as she shook her head. “You’re something else.”
“Oh?
A good something, or a bad something?” He hiked one eyebrow at her.
“Good.”
She peeked at him from beneath her lashes.
Someone
else came into the coffee shop, bringing with him a blast of cool air. As much
as Parker didn’t want his time with Chelsea to end, he kept in mind the area of
town she lived in. It was nearly dark, and he’d rather she got home sooner than
later.
Chelsea
sighed and reached for her coat, apparently realizing the same thing.
Parker
escorted her to her car and held the door open. Chelsea started the engine and
cranked the heat up all the way. Instead of retreating, he waited, one hand on
the roof of the car and the other on top of the door.
She
turned toward him, lifting her chin. “Thanks for the hot chocolate.”
“You’re
welcome.” He leaned down, his face inches from hers. “Chelsea?”
“Yeah?”
So, what do you
think? Do they kiss? Or is it a miss?
Vote below to enter for
your chance to win a digital copy of Finding Peace.
About the Author:
Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing for as long as she can
remember. She started out creating episodes of cartoon shows that she wanted to
see as a child and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband
live in Texas with their two children who keep their lives full of adventure,
and two dogs who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics.
In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crochet, baking,
archery, target shooting, learning about essential oils, and hanging out with
family and friends.
Follow Melanie:

Ready for Stop #7?
Did you collect your clue words in red above? Jot them down and hop over to Melanie’s blog for the next set of clues, goodies, and more.

Great read, Melanie! Okay, everyone don’t forget to go to all the blogs to find the words and enter for a chance to win! Yay! 

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Win 1 of 2 Prize Packages!

Drum roll…

Through the month of January, my good friend, Jodie Bailey, and I have teamed up to give away TWO super cool prize packages which includes a signed copy of each of our January releases: Dead Run by Jodie and Concealed Identity by moi! (Must be 18 or older. U.S. only.)

Using Rafflecopter, we’ll draw two winners on Tuesday, January 31st and announce them on Wednesday, February 1st! 

Check out the prize packages:

Jodie’s Prize Package

Wake up to THE good book with a journal for notes, a cup of pumpkin spice coffee in a sweet Fort Brag mug, and a two good books! And hey, don’t forget sweet treats, more coffee (or tea) from Starbucks ($10)!  


Jess’s Prize Package


On a cold night, stop by Starbucks ($10) for your favorite hot drink (or sweet treat), come home and curl up in some warm fuzzy socks (emoji heart eyes because, hellooo, you’re reading romance!), pop some popcorn, and enjoy signed copies of Dead Run and Concealed Identity… and don’t forget before bed, a little moment with God, some Burts Bees to soften those lips (xoxoxo) and a journal to keep notes!
Ya’ll just don’t know how cool it is to have a book releasing with Jodie! We met during a pre-published excerpt competition and have been fast friends since. 

Tell me, have you made a life long friend through a chance encounter? Share the deets in the comments!


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And I Quote… Plus Win a Copy of Concealed Identity!

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Ya’ll another book baby has been born. Concealed Identity released in Kindle on January 1 and in paperback on January 3. It’s surreal. Like for real. 

Here are just a few quotes from the book. Feel free to check out my Pinterest board to see who I cast as the characters and get a picture of the fictional small town of Hope, Tennessee. 

Holt McKnight is definitely one of my favorite characters! I hope you’ll think so too!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book!

And here is a meme one of my readers created on her own! 
Stay tuned…Friday I’m teaming up with my author pal, Jodie Bailey and we’re giving away some super sweet prizes! I’d love for you to swing by and enter for a chance to win. Let’s say there are gift cards, fuzzy slippers, books, Burts Bees, and much more to drool over! 
Do you have a favorite quote or a line from a song? I’d love for you to share it. 

Comment below (and add your email address) and I’ll draw a random winner for one signed paperback copy of Concealed Identity! U.S. Only on Friday, January 6th at NOON CST.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

…this author gave to me…
10 copies of Concealed Identity!


And 10 adorbs Christmas ornaments but that didn’t rhyme so…
I am so excited to be a part of the 12 Days of Christmas! Just look at the graphic to see how amazing it is! Each day a new author will be giving away a fun prize (books included) and YOU could win! All you have to do is enter the giveaway below!

My newest book has some Christmas elements in it. For example, my heroine, Blair Sullivan is obsessed with Christmas (she has reasons) and that’s why she’s named her antique store It’s a Wonderful Life. She even has a bell above the door so an angel can get its wings (like, she knows this isn’t real, it’s nostalgia) and her sweet little shop that’s set in the quaint and quirky small town of Hope, TN is decorated like Christmas 24/7. Yeah, my hero,  Holt finds it weird but as he gets to know Blair and falls in love with her, he discovers it’s rather endearing.

DEEP-COVER ASSIGNMENT 
After Holt McKnight’s criminal informant disappears, the DEA agent must go undercover to get close to the missing man’s sister, who may know more than she’s letting on. But when Blair Sullivan’s attacked, it’s up to him to protect her—without blowing his cover. Blair isn’t sure she can trust her new neighbor, Holt. After all, the last charming and handsome man she fell for was her late husband, and he turned out to be the brother of a ruthless drug lord. Yet when it’s clear the target on her back is somehow linked to her past, she has no choice but to accept Holt’s protection. Even if getting close is the last thing her scarred heart can handle.

Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to enter again (enter each day if you want!) to receive Gabrielle Meyer’s, A Family Arrangement! CLICK HERE to go to her website. 

Have you missed the chance to enter to win on Day 1 or Day 2? Well, here you go! Go enter!


DAY 1 Win Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson 
DAY 2 Win Watercolor Dreams audio book (digital download) by Sherry Kyle

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament? If so, share in the comments. If not, tell me your favorite Christmas song or carol!

Okay, now enter to win! 
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Real Talk with the Cast of Protective Duty

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Hey ya’ll! I can’t believe Protective Duty is out in the world! So many of you who read Fatal Reunion asked about Eric Hale and I’m so excited to share his story with you. I decided to get chummy with my cast of characters and get some real talk. But I’m not asking the questions. Nope. Instead, my Patch Pack team who helps me spread the word about my books through word of mouth, reviews, and other cool ways asked most of these babies and they were so fun. 

Shout out to my Patch Pack! I love ya’ll so much. Thank you for all your support, the laughs, the conversations on our facebook page, and the prayers. I treasure each one of you. 

So let’s get on with the show, shall we? 

This first question comes from Susan Snodgrass and it’s for Eric.

Eric: Awesome. I love being first. Susan, thanks! 

Me: You don’t even know the question yet.

Eric: So.

Me: Susan asks why you think you’re a Jedi.

Eric: Maybe you should ask Luke Ransom. I don’t want to seem all puffed up….Okay, I’ll tell you. I have this thing I do where I give a suspect the look. I stare him down and will him to speak and he does. I can make just about anyone talk. But I kind of get Luke. Not Ransom. Skywalker. I mean he had a pretty intimidating father. Like mine. Of course, my dad never cut my arm off, but then he wanted me to use it play pro golf so there’s that. Also, when I was five, I was vicious with a light saber. Just sayin’. 

Me: Susan, I don’t know if that answers your question or not, but there ya go. The next question comes from Gayle Adams and it’s for Newton! Yes, the puppy. Aw. Newt, were you scared when the truck tried to run ya’ll over?

Newton: I peed a little. A lot really. I’m a pup. I have a hard time holding it in. Just ask Bryn. Sorry about the kitchen…and the carpet. Really. I’ll get better. 

The next two questions come from Charissa Kerley.

Bryn, do you watch Star Wars movies with Eric?

Bryn: I have seen Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi–the original trilogy with him when we dated ten years ago. I have seen them multiple times. By multiple I mean too many to count. When I found out Eric’s partner at the precinct was Luke Ransom I thought, “How many times has Eric said, ‘Luke, I am your father.'”

Eric: Actually, that’s the first thing I said when I met him.

Me: How did he respond?

Eric: I got the eyebrow raise and, “So about this case…” 

Bryn: As far as the new movies…truth is I didn’t see them because seeing them without Eric hurt too much.

Eric: Well guess what we’re doing Friday night, babe?

Bryn: Thanks, Charissa, you’re a real peach. *inserts heavy sarcasm*

Charissa: Eric, what is your favorite Star Wars movie? 

Eric: Empire Strikes Back. Hands down. One hand if you’re Luke. Hey wasn’t that a movie? One Hand Luke.

Bryn: That was Cool Hand Luke. With Newman. 

Eric: Riiiight. Yeah. 

Me: Okay, moving right along. The next question comes from Denise Hershberger. It’s for Bryn. When did you start swimming?

Bryn: I was probably two. I always loved the water. We were in Florida, I think. And I just jumped in and of course my dad jumped in, panicked…but I rose to the top and just swam. All by myself. After that, my parents put in a pool and I did take lessons. After that it was history. 

Eric: I was twelve if anyone wants to know when I started swimming. 

Bryn: Nobody does. 

Eric: Harsh, babe.

Me: Susan Tuttle asks Eric, if there was a worldwide licorice shortage what would be your next vice?

Eric: I can tell you it won’t be Kale. Oh man, I couldn’t imagine that. I’m totally stumped. Meatloaf, maybe.

Bryn: Oh jeez! How about Dum Dums?

Eric: I’m feeling some subtext here. 

Bryn: Must be your Jedi senses.

Eric: Probably so. Good call, babe.

Me: Susan also wants to know if you’d fall for Bryn if she has an allergy to licorice. 

Eric: I’d give it up cold turkey. Because I like kissing Bryn way more than eating licorice. And she can make meatloaf…now.

Bryn: *rolls eyes*

Okay, ya’ll thanks for joining real talk! I hope you’ll buy the book and check out this fun and crazy cast! 

Beach Read Prize Package Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Protective Duty, my 2nd Love Inspired Suspense, just released on Kindle today and the paperback releases on shelves and online retailers June 7th! I’m so excited to share Eric Hale’s story with you. 

To celebrate, I’m giving away a BEACH READ prize package to one winner! 

Included is: A fun beach bag, beach towel, bandana, flip flops (will get the size from the winner after the drawing ends), a sweet tea and sunshine tumbler, and a signed paperback copy of Protective Duty! Yay! 

All you have to do is enter for a chance to win below! U.S residents only, 18+ 

Buy the BOOK!
HIGH-RISK REUNION 
Minutes into FBI profiler Bryn Eastman’s first case since a near-fatal shooting, a brazen serial killer sets his sights on her next. Now her life—and career—is in the hands of her new partner, Detective Eric Hale, the man she once loved and lost. Racked with nightmares of the shooting and regrets for the tragedy that tore her and Eric apart, Bryn doesn’t want Eric to discover the secrets she carries—but she needs him. Seeing Bryn brings back memories Eric can’t control. Memories of a once-in-a-lifetime love. But the tough detective knows their only path to a second chance goes straight through a relentless killer…one who won’t quit until he counts Bryn as his fifth victim.

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